Jared Kushner memoir paints damning picture of Andrew Cuomo's COVID-19 response
Jared Kushner (Nicholas Kamm : AFP)

Ten days before his disastrous order to admit COVID-19 patients into nursing homes, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the virus could burn through nursing homes “like fire through dry grass," according to a new memoir from Jared Kushner.

Speaking to the New York Post, relatives of those who died from the virus say the revelation only makes the need for accountability more urgent.

"Kushner wrote that Cuomo specifically mentioned possible nursing home horrors in a 30-minute phone call as Kushner helped lead the early White House pandemic response as infections mounted in New York," The Post reports. "In the March 15 call, Cuomo allegedly told Kushner, 'For nursing homes, this could be like fire through dry grass.' Cuomo’s subsequent March 25 order said nursing homes weren’t allowed to turn away patients 'solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,' which the families of victims said was a death sentence for vulnerable elderly residents."

As news reports in the wake of Cuomo's decision point out, his administration covered up the resulting deaths in order to impede a federal investigation.

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“What I feel is heartbreak because our parents, our loved ones were still alive on March 15,” said Vivian Zayas, whose 78-year-old mother, Ana Martinez, died at the Our Lady of Consolation nursing home in West Islip. “His deviation marked my mom for death. She was expendable. We will never know why he still decided to go forth.”

“There could’ve been more that could have been done. How many seniors who were still alive on March 15 would have lived if he had not done that order and if he had not instructed the nursing homes to take these people in?” Zayas added.